Wednesday, 27 May 2015

4 Procedures That Remove Excessive Skin After Dramatic Weight Loss


The waistlines of Canadians have been expanding over the last few decades. Dr. L.K Twells, who published her studies in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, projected that about 21% of Canadian adults will be obese by 2019.  That’s a big number.

With that in mind, losing weight—especially large amounts of it—is impressive. It takes a lot of dedication and willpower to stick to these goals, whether it’s through diet and exercise or weight loss surgery. While a person might have shed fat and weight, they might be left with some extra baggage. I’m talking about loose, excessive skin.

This is often the case for those who have had bariatric surgery. This hanging skin is like an annoying reminder of your former self. Even though someone’s lost an incredible amount of weight, they might still be unhappy with themselves because of all the skin that’s leftover. A lot of people try to avoid it, but plastic surgery is the way to address this issue. 

It’s not the answer immediately after weight loss though. A person should wait until their weight has stabilized after bariatric surgery or dieting—this could be 18 months or more. Once that happens, there are quite a few procedures they can look into to banish that skin for good.

Tummy tuck


After dramatic weight loss, some people are left with loose skin that hangs over the pubic region and hip bones. An extensive tummy tuck can address this issue. An incision (you and your plastic surgeon will discuss where and how it looks like) will be made, and then the skin is removed. Loose tummy muscles are sutured and a new belly button is also created. Here’s an example of an actual SpaMedica patient who lost over 100 pounds. Although she was happy with her weight loss, she was bothered by the loose skin she was left with.

This patient had a tummy tuck to flatten her abdomen
Source: SpaMedica. This patient had a tummy tuck to remove excess skin.
Dr. Mulholland, a Toronto plastic surgeon, performed a tummy tuck and energy-assisted liposuction techniques to give her a smooth, flat abdomen. The patient was extremely pleased with her final results.

Arm lift


Arm lifts (also known as brachioplasty) remove the hanging skin on arms. Sometimes this loose skin is referred to as “bat wings”. Your plastic surgeon may make incisions on the back of the arms which extends from the underarm to the elbow. After surgery, you’ll wear a compression garment to reduce swelling and to help shrink and tighten the skin.

Body lift


This is an extensive surgical procedure that involves targeting several areas of the body. Instead of doing individual procedures at different times, some patients opt to have a full body lift. Body lifts are ideal for patients who’ve lost a large amount of weight and have excess skin. Full body lifts tighten several areas such as the breasts, abdomen, legs, and butt. A full month of recovery is usually needed for most patients.

Breast lift

Before and after a breast lift
Source: SpaMedica. This patient had a breast lift performed by Dr. Krajden of SpaMedica.
For women who’ve lost weight, they may see a loss of fat in their breasts. When this happens, they’re left with saggy or droopy looking breasts--that’s usually not a desired outcome. That’s why breast lifts are popular for women who’ve lost a lot of weight. Your plastic surgeon will reposition and reshape the breast tissue and remove any excess skin.  

It’s not ideal, but scars may be present after the procedures. If possible, your plastic surgeon will try to conceal or minimize the scarring. If you want more information, feel free to get in touch with us by booking your appointment online or leave a comment below.

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